Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 18.09.2019 | Name days: Liesma, Elita, Alita

Leading judge in Lembergs’ criminal case leaves due to health problems

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Judge Boriss Geimans

Because of health problems, court chairman and leading judge in the criminal case against Aivars Lembergs Boriss Geimans will no longer take part in court sessions involving this case. Instead he will be replaced by reserve judge Ārija Ždanova. Judge Irīna Jansone has been elected as the new chairperson, as announced at the court session on Monday, 9 September.

Lembergs’ lawyer Aivo Leimanis submitted an application, announcing his client’s decision to withdraw the agreement with him on provision of defence.

The court had previously picked Genādijs Ivankins as Lembergs’ state-provided lawyer.

He had initially requested seven months to go through materials of the case. However, so far the court has only decided to reduce the frequency of court sessions dealing with Lembergs’ criminal case. This means

meeting twice a week instead of four times a week as before.

The court also asked lawyers of the accused Ansis Sormulis and Anrijs Lembergs if they are prepared to commence their debates, but lawyers said not, explaining that they had expected Aivars Lembergs’ lawyer’s speech to last until the end of the year, stressing that that his speech is not over. Nevertheless, the court decided that either lawyer Jānis Rozenbergs or lawyer Oskars Rode will have to commence their speech on Thursday, 12 September.

The court added – if the defence is not prepared to provide their speech, the court will conclude they have nothing to say.

After the court session Rozenbergs could not say if his speech is ready. He only said «we will come up with something by Thursday».

Lembergs was in need of a new lawyer because on 25 June his team of lawyers lost one of its members – Raimonds Krastiņš. He has since ceased practising law altogether. Lembergs has two other lawyers in his team, but he said they cannot take on duties of a third, because each of them is responsible for different aspects of the case, and Krastiņš was the «only strategist of the team». Other lawyers were invited to attend specific sessions. At last week’s court session, Lembergs was without his lawyers.

The court had previously told Lembergs that he has the rights to take on as many lawyers as he wants, but he does not have the rights to sign contracts with lawyers who will arrive only to the court sessions Lembergs allows them.

«Either you have defence that arrives for scheduled court sessions or the state will provide you with defence. Let’s not rip apart court sessions if you have an agreement with someone who cannot make it,» Jansone described the situation.

Prosecutor Juris Juriss had previously told BNN that, based on his experience, Lembergs’ side has been intentionally delaying the entire court process. «Court delaying currently takes place on the pretext of looking for defence, yet our side observed «seeds» for this scenario some time ago. In the view of state prosecution, one of the defence lawyers went against the meaning of the law, when she began issuing a separate order for every court hearing,» Juriss comments on the situation with Lembergs’ lawyer Irina Kauke.

She has taken part both in the pretrial criminal proceedings and in the trial from its beginning. However, over the past few months, according to Juriss, lawyer Kauke carried out a fictional scenario – deliberately applied for orders, which are, as if, about separate speeches of fragments of debates. Thus, Lembergs was able to justify that Kauke was not his defence lawer to the full extent.

«Our projection came true after lawyer Raimonds Krastiņš declared his resignation due to an illness. It turns out that Lembergs has lost his defence, because Kauke somehow isn’t his full lawyer due to many orders staged to Lembergs. Here, the side of state prosecution sees maliciousness. «The ground» for this was prepared deliberately with the aim of delaying the criminal proceedings on the pretext of searching for defence.»

In court debates the prosecution requested sentencing Lembergs to eight years of prison with confiscation of property, as well as fine of 150 minimal wages or EUR 64 500. The prosecution commenced debates in February 2018 and concluded them in March 2019.

The prosecutor’s office accuses Lembergs of bribery in especially large volumes, money laundering, forgery of official status, participation in monetary deals he is not allowed to take part in due to his official status, as well as abuse of official power and other crimes. Anrijs Lembergs and Ansis Sormulis are also among the accused in this criminal case.

The prosecutor’s office has requested sentencing Anrijs Lembergs to a prison sentence of five years and six months with confiscation of property, whereas the requested sentence for Sormulis is seven years in prison with confiscation of property, as explained by prosecutor Juris Juriss.

All three of the accused deny their guilt.

Leave a reply

Discussions about MPC nearly ruin Latvian government’s 2020 budget viewing

The sudden outburst of the government over the addition of the mandatory procurement component to the government’s list of topics almost caused discussions of the 2020 government budget fall through.

EU court views Ireland’s appeal against 13 billion-euro fine to Apple

The General Court of the European Union has commenced the hearing of an appeal against a decision by Brussels that Ireland has to recover 13 billion euros from the tech giant Apple for unpaid taxes.

Amid investigations, Swedbank admits shortcomings in anti-money laundering work

In Estonia and Sweden, the leading bank of the Baltics, Swedbank has admitted to investigating authorities that it has had and still has certain shortcomings in areas linked to the prevention of money laundering, according a press release.

Latvian government approves changes to improve healthcare for pregnant women

Latvia’s government has approved amendment to Cabinet of Ministers requirements to help expand screening of birth defects and establish recertification requirements for obstetricians, Healthcare Ministry reports.

FVS: catering in multiple education facilities in Sigulda was being provided illegally

Latvia’s Food and Veterinary Service found different violations of regulations during inspections performed in schools around Sigulda, as confirmed by the service.

Exclusive | Competition Council’s chief on construction cartel; society needs to see the guilty pay the price

Society needs to see the guilty pay the price. Those guilty need to step down from their posts, not go underground and wait until the storm has calmed down, BNN was told by Competition Council’s chairperson Skaidrīte Ābrama about the recently uncovered construction cartel and suspicions over involvement of high-ranking officials.

U.S. urges Lithuania not to honour people linked to Holocaust

An American Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues has called on Lithuania «to objectively review the actions of historical figures to determine the impact of their actions, both positive and negative».

Minsk stands for its nuclear rights as Lithuania warns about Astravyets’ safety

As the Belarus’ first nuclear power plant is scheduled to start operations later in 2019 despite opposition from Lithuania, the Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister has reiterated the country’s rights to produce nuclear power.

University of Latvia to organize a new procurement for House of Letters

The procurement for the House of Letters has been put on hold and the University of Latvia has decided to organize a new procurement for the building’s construction, as acting LU rector Gvido Straube told public broadcaster LNT programme 900 seconds.

Latvia’s SRS’s tax collection in eight months exceeds expectations

In the first eight months of 2019 Latvia’s State Revenue Service has collected EUR 6.446 billion for the state budget, which is 0.3% or EUR 20.899 million more than previously planned, according to published information.

Amnesty International awards teenage climate activist Thunberg

Amnesty International, which describes itself as the world’s largest human rights organisation, has given its Ambassador of Consciousness Award to Swedish schoolgirl, who has inspired the mass weekly demonstrations calling for climate-conscious policy reforms.

Citskovskis: wages in public administration should reach 80% of private sector’s

In the development of a new remuneration system in public administration, one of the goals is achieving that wages in public administration reaches 80% of the remuneration level in the private sector, said the head of Latvia’s State Chancellery Jānis Citskovskis in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

EU to discuss Brexit with UK each day, Johnson still pushing to leave on October 31

A high-level Brexit meeting has been held by the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, where the officials have agreed to make meetings more frequent with October 31 as the deadline.

Investigation of intestinal infection leads FVS to vegetable processing shop in Jelgava

While investigating the cause behind the intestinal infection in Sigulda, Latvia’s Food and Veterinary Service has shut down a vegetable processing shop in Jelgava, as confirmed by the service.

Ukraine planning surge in military spending as war continues

Amid preparations for Donbas War talks in the Normandy format, Kyiv has announced a draft national budget that would include a 16%-hike in defence spending.

Latvia’s number of vacant job above EU’s average in second quarter of 2019

In Q2 2019, the number of vacant jobs in Latvia was above the average of European Union and Eurozone, which is reflected in percentage ratio between the total number of jobs – both taken and vacant.

Estonia worried West’s loosening grip on Russia could end in third intervention

Amid concessions to Russia in the OSCE and calls to invite it to the G7, Estonian Foreign Minister has spoken against the possibility of lower European Union’s principles against Russia, which could encourage Moscow to carry out third interventionist adventure.

19 children and four kindergarten employees show signs of intestinal infection

By Sunday, 15 September, symptoms of intestinal infection were found for 23 people, including 19 children and four kindergarten employees in Sigulda and its surrounding areas, as reported by Disease Prevention and Control Centre.

Number of vacant jobs in Latvia up 5 900 or 23.8%

In Q2 2019 there were 30.5 thousand job vacancies in Latvia, which is 5.9 thousand vacancies or 23.8 % more than in Q2 2018. In public sector there were 8.6 thousand and in private sector 21.9 thousand vacant jobs.

Europe’s electricity network will help increase energy exchange opportunities

After Baltic States’ joining of the European Electricity Network, there will be an increase for opportunities in energy exchange and trade, says AS Augstsprieguma tīkls board member Varis Boks.

Tartu retail battle: Maxima objects being shoulder to shoulder with Lidl

In the city of Tartu, Lithuanian grocery retail chain Maxima is not satisfied with the local zoning plan that could see the first shop of its low-price competitor Lidl be opened close to its property.

Unemployment benefits in Latvia to be paid for eight, not nine months

From now on unemployment benefits in Latvia will be paid for eight, not nine months. The total amount is cut, thereby allowing Welfare Ministry to save EUR 12 million, said minister Ramona Petraviča in an interview to LTV programme Rīta panorama.

Transport pollution: Paris planning 500 subsidy to e-bike purchase to millions

As France aims to reduce its air pollution, greater Paris is considering a massive subsidy programme to millions of its inhabitants to the purchase of an electric bike.

Polluted areas in Riga disappear from registers; builders often relieved of clean-up

Polluted territories in Riga have a tendency to disappear from registers of such territories. Often this results in builders being relieved of the responsibility of construction restrictions and the duty to clean polluted territories, as reported by public broadcaster TV3 programme Nekā Personīga.

EU: Progress in Brexit talks not «huge» as PM Johnson says it is

«Huge progress» – these words were used by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to describe the state of Brexit talks before he travels to Brussels hoping to overcome the Irish backstop problem. European Commission however is yet to receive alternative proposals to speak of.

Newest comments